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PUBLISHED FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 7, 2003

Santa Rosa's top employee has passion for education

When the Santa Rosa County School District searched for its No.1 employee, it didn't take long to find a person who has the heart and compassion to make a difference in the lives of students.

It took only one look at letters of nomination and recommendations to select Regina Marek as the district's School-Related Employee of the Year.

According to members of the selection committee, Marek's passion for education and her efforts to make a difference in the lives of her students are compelling reasons why she earned recognition as the best employee in the district.

The Exceptional Student Education teacher assistant at West Navarre Elementary School garnered high praise from Principal Anna Ratliff, who said Marek "truly defines the ideal employee - one who does what she can, where she can, with what she has, always with the students' best interest in mind."

Clearly, it takes a team of good employees to make any business, school or agency better. The Santa Rosa School District is recognized throughout the state as one of the best. One reason for its success undoubtedly is because of the kind of people who go the extra mile to make their schools better.

Finalists Diane Newsome, a secretary at Holley-Navarre Middle School, and Dianne Brooks, area supervisor in the food service department, also are deserving of recognition for their service.

Given all the criticism about public schools and the ongoing complaints over inadequate teacher salaries and poor performance by students, it is refreshing when people like Marek are recognized and honored for their hard work, commitment and dedication in the field of education.

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